The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Hasan Abubakar has disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting 51 additional platforms to boost counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in the country.
The CAS stated this while addressing officers and men during his maiden operational tour of NAF units in Makurdi, Benue State.
He noted that the acquisition of additional platforms would bolster training, air power employment, and projection. The platforms is expected, according to the CAS, to include two Agusta 109 Trekker Multi-role helicopters, two Beechcraft King Air 360, two Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft and six T-129 ATAK helicopters.
Other pending acquisitions include two CASA-295 medium airlift/surveillance aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.
All these acquisitions, according to the CAS, demonstrate the Federal Government’s deep commitment to equipping the NAF for the safe conduct of training and agile airpower employment to meet the Nation’s security challenges.
Speaking further, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF would continue to enhance cooperation and jointness as part of a whole-of-nation approach to quickly resolving the security challenges bedeviling the country.
He said: “While the NAF augments its airpower measures and approaches, it will also continue to promote seamless interoperability of equipment and joint force employment by the various services.”
He, therefore, enjoined the personnel to cooperate with other services and security agencies to meet the high expectations of Nigerians on the Armed Forces as well as restore peace and security and ensure a safe and prosperous Nation.
Air Vice Marshal Abubakar went on to note that though the successes so far recorded were largely due to the renewed cooperation and jointness between the Services and other security agencies, it must be enhanced and sustained.
The CAS also assured the personnel of his commitment to proactively address maintenance and logistics support for all NAF fleet to ensure it surpasses the current average serviceability of over 78 per cent.
On training, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar stated that overseas and local training will henceforth be deliberate and targeted to address deficiencies in needed skills and capabilities, just as selection for such courses will be purely merit-based to ensure that only the most qualified are selected to give the NAF value for money.
On welfare, the CAS noted that under his watch, problems of poor electricity and water supply as well as dilapidated accommodation and road infrastructure on all NAF Bases would be given the utmost priority they deserve to ensure personnel and their families live comfortably.
While assuring them of prompt payment of all entitlements, he also promised to look into the issue of uniforms and other accouterments. The CAS also called on the need for the personnel to remain disciplined, diligent, and responsible in their conduct in and out of uniforms.BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis